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Thread: Luminosity Masks

  1. #1
    DougDolde
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    Luminosity Masks

    While I'm on the subject of image processing I wanted to pass along Tony Kuyper's Luminosity Masks to those who haven't already discovered them.

    Find them at http://www.goodlight.us/writing/lumi...tymasks-1.html

    They are a free download. I use them on almost every image I process. My main use is to create a Basic Mid-Tone mask, then load the selection and create a curve layer. You can really push the curve to the limit to boost only the mid-tone contrast. This adds quite a punch to most images but still looks natural. If the result is too saturated change the blending mode from Normal to Luminosity. The masks are auto feathering, ie very smooth.

    Read Tony's explanation, download the actions, and try them out. It's pretty easy once you get the hang of it. I guarantee you won't be disappointed with the results.

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    Re: Luminosity Masks

    Thanks for link Doug.

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    Subscriber Member TRSmith's Avatar
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    Re: Luminosity Masks

    I've been doing my own half-baked attempts at this for a little while, but this is a great set of actions that really save time. Lots of control available with these. Thanks!

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Luminosity Masks

    This is clearly a rookie question. How do the tone masks differ from the use of the Presence adjustments (similar in both lightroom and CS4). My understanding is that the clarity adjustment works directly on midtone contrast without affecting highlights or shadows. The vibrance and saturation adjustments can then be used to deal with any color issues .

    If I need to work on a specific area of the image , the clarity and saturation adjustments can be applied thru the local area adjustments.

    I realize you are working on images intended for large landscape prints where the ability to fine tune adjustments is critical.

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    Re: Luminosity Masks

    i love when people do this sort of thing, especially when they ask for a reasonable donation (even if it's not necessary). i know you can do it yourself, but it really does cut down on the time. i want to concentrate on the image -- not on the technical side. as i said in the other thread -- i love layers so i can use these actions as a stepping stone and then tweak to my satisfaction.

    thank you for these treasures!

  6. #6
    DougDolde
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    Re: Luminosity Masks

    glenerrolrd - I've no idea...never used those other adjustments.

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    Subscriber Member TRSmith's Avatar
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    Re: Luminosity Masks

    My sense of it after working with it for a total of 20 minutes is that it provides tremendous finesse in terms of which areas of either darks or lights you can elect to modify.

    The entire list of actions included is a bit more than I wish to type, but as an example you can select, mask, and apply a curve to: "Lights, Light lights, bright lights, super lights, all lights, expanded lights, etc" with the same levels of distinction for "midtones" and "darks." Each action selects and masks a narrowly defined area and allows for adjustment of same. The selections are much easier (and more accurate) than you might be able to do with any selection tool. You can then further modify your curve layer by setting it to a different blending mode and opacity. For the inexpensive donation required it is a tremendous value in my opinion.
    Last edited by TRSmith; 28th February 2009 at 07:35.

  8. #8
    DougDolde
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    Re: Luminosity Masks

    TRS, you got it right. I use the super lights mask quite a bit if I have highlights that are over the top. Then load the selection and pull the upper right corner of the curve down a bit. Then fine tune it with the opacity percentage.

    When I'm using the Basic Mid Tone mask, sometimes I erase the layer in the sky region as it often looks better without increased contrast.

  9. #9
    Super Moderator Cindy Flood's Avatar
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    Re: Luminosity Masks

    Quote Originally Posted by glenerrolrd View Post
    This is clearly a rookie question. How do the tone masks differ from the use of the Presence adjustments (similar in both lightroom and CS4). My understanding is that the clarity adjustment works directly on midtone contrast without affecting highlights or shadows. The vibrance and saturation adjustments can then be used to deal with any color issues .

    If I need to work on a specific area of the image , the clarity and saturation adjustments can be applied thru the local area adjustments.

    I realize you are working on images intended for large landscape prints where the ability to fine tune adjustments is critical.
    Roger,
    These masks should allow much more precise targeting of pixels by luminance levels.
    Speaking of CS4, have you tried the exposure brush in CS4 Camera Raw? That is a tool worth checking out.

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Luminosity Masks

    Cindy

    I use Lightroom and my daughter uses CS4 ..we debate the features and they seem similar. I make extensive use of the local area adjustments....which provide I think tremendous flexibility. You have many ways to create very specific masks ..thru these you can adjust exposure,brightness,contrast,saturation,clarity etc. The adjustment tool has great flexibility in masking specific areas based on luminous levels ..for example a face with a deep shadow can be masked precisely and then you can lighten it to taste. Once you create the mask you can use any of the sliders to work only on the specific area. This is sufficiently controlled to allow most retouching and the auto masking finds the edges based on luminousity. e.g lightening the edge of an eye..

    What it will not do for you is create an overall mask of the highlights or the light lights ..so that you can work on those areas specifically.

    Thanks for explaining the use of the tool

    Roger

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